03 November 2016
Prestigious PhD studentship for vet-turned-historian
Vet Alison Skipper has won a highly competitive Wellcome Trust Research Award for Health Professionals to support her PhD studies in the Department, supervised by Professor Abigail Woods.
Vet Alison Skipper has won a highly competitive Wellcome Trust Research Award for Health Professionals to support her PhD studies at the KCL History Department under the supervision of Professor Abigail Woods.
Her thesis will address 'Form, function and fashion: Health, disease and pedigree dog breeding in twentieth century Britain.' It is inspired by Alison's longstanding interest in the health of pedigree dogs. The exaggerated body shapes and limited gene pools of some dog breeds have generated considerable controversy in recent years.
Alison’s personal involvement with pedigree dog health, working both as a practising vet and with the Kennel Club at dog shows, led her to question how and why these problems developed. She will spend the next four years as part of a thriving community of animal history postgraduate students, exploring how twentieth century breeders and vets engaged with pedigree dog health, their attitudes to breeding practices and efforts to control disease. Alison hopes her work will enable today’s vets and breeders better to understand how current issues arose, thus informing future health initiatives.